Most crosswalks have a button a pedestrians can push to get a crossing signal, but some think pressing that button affects the traffic light sequence, changing sooner because the button was pressed. Jobie Peeples did an experiment of her own to verify if that's true. She also met with Macon-Bibb Traffic Engineer Nigel Floyd.
After testing a traffic light signal at the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd and Poplar Street, Jobie timed 1:04 for the light to change, but to press the crosswalk button, she recorded a time of 00:54, not much difference than the first test.
Macon-Bibb Traffic Engineer Nigel Floyd says pressing the button doesn't speed up the traffic sequence.
"Once you push the button, the controller acknowledges that a pedestrian is there that wants to cross, however the pedestrian has to wait its turn in the sequence," Floyd said. "After the cars stop going and the controller realizes it's now the turn for the pedestrian, it'll send a call to let that pedestrian a crosswalk."
So we verified that when you push the crosswalk button, that doesn't affect the traffic light sequence and it doesn't mean you'll get to cross any sooner.
It only alerts the system there is a pedestrian waiting, so it will signal you when it's safe to cross. It doesn't speed up the light change.